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Letter to Ahmed Chalabi

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November 9, 2005

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi
Iraqi National Congress
c/o The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
3100 South Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Dear Mr. Deputy Prime Minister:

We write to you as members of the 60 to 70 percent of Americans who believe that this war has been (in the words of the polling companies) a "mistake," or (in our own words) a criminal fraud. We resent the role you played in instigating it. We believe you owe an apology.

You owe an apology not to Judith Miller, whose career is ruined but who consciously chose to disgrace herself by working with you. Rather, you owe an apology to the families of the over 100,000 people who have died in this war, including over 2,000 U.S. soldiers.

Your misinformation campaign has been exposed:

'Þ "Curveball" was a fraud and a brother of one of your top lieutenants.
'Þ The 20 secret WMD sites didn't exist.

You should not only offer an apology, but you should offer to testify, under oath, in a Congressional committee, on the subjects of both pre-war claims and wartime spying.

Just last summer, the U.S. military raided your office in Baghdad after it learned you had passed sensitive intelligence to Iran. At the time, U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.) said, "This is a very, very serious charge. There were a number of us who warned this administration about [Chalabi].... But the fact is, there were some in this administration, some in Congress who were quite taken with him."

Why would anyone distrust you, Mr. Chalabi? Let's list a few reasons:

'Þ The CIA stopped working with you in the mid-1990s because they didn't think you were being honest.
'Þ The U.S. government cut you off again last year, after paying you $33 million, because our military had decided to raid your office.
'Þ The Los Angeles Times quotes sources who suspect you of feeding phony or tricked-up sources and documents to the spies of eight nations.
'Þ Seven of your aides in Iraq are wanted on charges of blackmail, fraud and other crimes.
'Þ You've been convicted of embezzlement and sentenced in absentia to 22 years of prison with hard labor in Jordan.
'Þ In August of 2004, Iraq issued a warrant for your arrest on charges of counterfeiting.

U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D., Cal.) said of you: "I think he's a charlatan. I think he's a manipulator. I don't believe he's a man that you can trust. I think we made a horrendous mistake in providing him with tens of millions of dollars and enabling him to build a corps of infiltrators, allegedly to give us intelligence, which in many cases was deeply flawed."

Mr. Chalabi, when you were peddling bogus reasons to launch this catastrophic war, you said "'I am not seeking any positions - my job will end with the liberation of Iraq from Saddam's rule." That quote is from the BBC, which added this commentary: "However, for the Arab media, Mr. Chalabi was the epitome of an American stooge, a man who sold his soul to the devil."

So you have no desire to rule, and the people you would be ruling consider you a stooge of the U.S. And yet, here you are in Washington, apparently to ask for U.S. support to become ruler of Iraq.

Should we laugh or cry, Mr. Chalabi, that you are here at the American Enterprise Institute speaking on the topic of "An Insider's View: Democratic Politics at Work in Iraq." Is democracy now something only for insiders?

Democracy, to us, is something controlled by the people. The people of the United States demand an apology, a confession, and the return of all the money we've spent on you.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
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